St George’s Cross Station – the big M8 junction and the top end of Sauchiehall Street
St George’s Cross sits at an important road junction where the M8, the main motorway in Scotland, meets the city centre of Glasgow. The stretch of road from J14 Dennistoun to J22 Kilmarnock M77 is the busiest bit of road in the whole of Scotland. St. George’s Cross sits right in the middle of it at J18 Charing Cross.
Nestled under a ramp from Great Western Road to the M8, the station itself is not immediately obvious, especially if you are coming from the direction of town. The whole station is underground and has to be accessed by either stairs/ramp or underpass.
St. George’s Cross sits on the West End side of the motorway, but in reality most people use it to access the end of Sauchiehall Street and the various offices and businesses in the area. It does provide access to the motorway end of Great Western Road, and while it has a lot to offer, this area is mostly made up of quaint residential streets and old Victorian tenements. All park lined of course.
To get to town, come up the ramp on the left and turn right under the bridge at the top. It is a little bit to walk, but eventually you will hit Charing Cross. This is where Sauchiehall Street crosses the M8. If you take the right hand turn when you come out of the station, you will hit the north side of Great Western Road. On the other hand, going under the underpass will bring you out on the other side of Great Western Road.
The Charing Cross junction at the motorway is a sight to behold, with its sprawling on and off ramps that meet the motorway beneath. There is a very good view at a large building called Tay House that arches over the motorway, and it often feels as you walk through the traffic that you are incredibly close to the vehicles.
One of the strange features of Charing Cross is the number of clocks dotted around the older Victorian buildings. This was once a busy tram hub in days gone by and there are a number of feature buildings round this area. It is certainly a well photographed piece of Glasgow.
An important mention goes to The Tenement House Museum, which is situated just across the motorway at the west side of Garnethill. It is an original Victorian tenement house that was kept in its original state and still contains many of the original fittings and products in use a hundred years ago.
For most people though, St George’s Cross will mostly serve as a stop off for the top of Sauchiehall Street which consists of wall to wall nightlife, as well as plenty of choices for eating out. If you are a tourist and want to drink in real Glaswegian bars with Glaswegians, then you can’t go far amiss in Variety, Chinaskis or The Griffin. For a younger, trendier crowd the pick of the bunch is Nice ‘N Sleazy, although any of its neighbors offer a similar experience with a focus on good music. Just down the street is the O2 ABC, which doubles as a large music venue and a club night on Thursdays and Fridays. This area in general is a good spot to be around to get a feel for Glasgow’s music scene and those involved.
Overall, St George’s Cross is still dominated by the attractions at the top end of Sauchiehall Street and the imposing figure the M8 motorway cuts.